From your Parisian

Sharing my newest discoveries as I float through the streets of Paris. Restaurants, bars, events, all reviewed for you with love, from your Parisian.


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Paris Restaurant Review: Bibimbap

I know it’s a little (a lot!) late but Happy New Year from Paris! 🙂 With a new year comes new experiences and my first one this year has been trying a bibimbap at a Korean restaurant aptly named Bibimbap! It is located near Saint-Marcel metro station, which is not the greatest of areas when it comes to restaurants, but a friend of mine living in the area recommended it, and I was happy he did. I have been to Korean barbecue many times before in Vancouver, but the bimimbap had somehow escaped my foodie radar until now.Bibimbap_Paris_interiorFrom the outside I have to admit that the restaurant doesn’t look like anything special (and inside is no different with generic jazz music playing overhead) but what they may lack in decor they make up for in their cuisine. We sat down by the entrance at a table with a little doorbell button on it that you can push to get the waiter’s attention (FYI: it was very hard for me to resist pushing it)! Right away I saw pictures of their specialties posted up in the windows and the waiter brought us the menus with similar photos and descriptions of the tasty looking dishes.Bibimbap_Paris_Menu_CarteFor those of you who don’t know, a bibimbap is a Korean dish consisting of rice, vegetables (cooked in sesame oil and garlic) and meat/egg (if desired) served in a scorching hot stone pot (called a dolsot). As I browsed the list of possible choices I was tempted by all of them, but finally settled on the sensible option called Ă©quilibre (“balanced” in English) for 12,80 Euros.bibimbap paris_accompanimentsOnce we had ordered the waiter brought over the accompaniments that consisted of a tray of candied peanuts, lotus root and cucumber and a cold cucumber soup, as well as two bottles of Korean hot sauce (gochujang) and soy sauce (ganjang).bibimbap_Paris_equilibreMy dish came out piping hot with the mildly seasoned carrots, mushrooms, bean sprouts, cucumber and spinach spread out on top of the rice like flower petals and a fried egg placed carefully in the center. I could hear the rice sizzling underneath and immediately started mixing all my ingredients together, adding a bit of both sauces. The egg, that was only partly cooked, was quickly fried due to the heat of the dish while the bottom layer of rice stuck to the the bowl had a slight crispiness which I enjoyed. With the sauces added I found in to be quite tasty, however I tried my bf’s vitalitĂ© (“vitality” in English) bibimbab (14,80 Euros) and would definitely have that next time as the spicy pork added even more flavor to the meal.bibimbap paris_pork bibimbap 2We left feeling full but good about what we had eaten. There are many other dishes on their menu but bibimbaps are delicious and great for anyone looking for a healthy, satisfying and visually appealing meal that won’t interfere with your post-holiday detox plans. Plus, they are open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner! Bibimbap_Paris_exteriorContact Details:
32 Boulevard HĂ´pital

75005, Paris
+(33) 01 43 31 27 42

Rating: 

4 plates of kimchi out of 5!

 

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Paris Coffee Shops: La Bossue

My list of food places to visit in Paris is constantly expanding, so with almost 2 weeks off from work for the winter holidays (YAY :)) I had intended to check out a few of them for lunch. Unfortunately, I soon discovered that many restaurants and cafĂ©s had also decided to go on holiday (surprise…surprise…) until January. So I was really happy to stumble upon the charming La Bossue last week with my friend G. Located in Montmartre, it is just a few steps past the main tourist track which makes it a great place to enjoy a homemade lunch or a nice baked treat with a cup of coffee.la bossue_paris_tableWalking into this peaceful little tea house and cake shop is a true pleasure, with its large counter full of freshly baked treats displayed for all to see and the most amazing smells wafting through the air. The dĂ©cor is a little like what you would find at a hip Grandma’s house with vintage wallpaper, mix and match furniture, retro mirrors, hanging potted plants and framed black and white family photos. The kitchen is open so you can see that everything is carefully prepared and baked in a large metal oven by the young and friendly owner.la bossue_paris_kitchen interiorWe sat down and ordered a pot of organic tea (4.50 Euros) at a table facing the cute inner courtyard, adorned with a pretty antique lamp. They offer a great lunch special which includes one of their 2 soups of the day (we both chose the seasonal veggie soup) with a savory baked dish (I chose the spinach and goat cheese pie while G preferred the creamy gratin dauphinois) and a side salad for 9.50 Euros. la bossue_paris_lunch specialla bossue_paris_lunch special 2Their comforting lunch is bursting with healthy vegetables while being incredibly tasty at the same time. Kind of like the type of meal a caring older relative would make for you. You can then be tempted by a large selection of sweet delights, such as a slice of carrot cake (3 Euros) or a delicate raspberry financier (1,40 Euros), to accompany a cappuccino (4,30 Euros) or a killer hot chocolate that comes with a tiny pot of vanilla bean whipped cream (5 Euros). Apparently they also serve a wholesome buffet brunch on the weekend (23,50 Euros), which I am going to have to try soon! la bossue_paris_coffeela bossue_paris_cakesVerdict: La Bossue is a real gem! Enjoy breakfast, lunch or tea time (open from Wednesday to Sunday) in a cozy and welcoming environment. And, as this is my last post of 2015, I want to thank everyone for following my blog this year and I wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy New Year! 🙂la bossue_paris_exteriorContact Details:
9 Rue Joseph de Maistre
75018, Paris
+(33) 09 81 72 65 59

Rating:

5 adorable grannies out of 5


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Restaurant Review: Puce – Bar Ă  Grignoter

There are lots of places to eat in SoPi (South Pigalle neighborhood of Paris), but not all of them have the charm that you will find at Puce – Bar Ă  Grignoter. The word puce is often used as a pet name in French, which roughly translates as “sweetheart” or “honey” in English. It’s therefore a fairly appropriate name for this restaurant, which I can best describe as cute and classy. The benches are covered in pastel colored cushions with striped, floral and polka dot motifs, the food is served on vintage porcelain plates and the sleek bar is adorned with a mix of enchanting lampshades hanging from above.puce_paris_cute tablepuce_paris_interiorI went here with my friend K on a week night as we were looking for a place where we could get a drink and some share plates…neither of us was very hungry (I had eaten a huge chicken kebab for lunch)! We sat down in the cozy room, were greeted by the friendly owner and took a look at the menu. Drinks include a good variety of wines as well as non-alcoholic beverages and a random Japanese beer. As for the food, everything on the menu is incredibly tempting and prices range from 5.50-12 Euros. They are small portions, but they are meant to share, so depending on your appetite (and budget) you can choose as many or as few as you like to go along with a glass of wine, such as a Chardonnay « Patchwork » 2013, Tissot (my choice at 6,5 Euros). puce_food menu_parisWe settled on the chips and guacamole (served in a traditional molcajete), a cheese plate (that I admit was a little small), a lentil and feta salad and a creamy 4 cheese macaroni! The guacamole was amazing and full of fresh cilantro, just how I like it, and the macaroni was oozing with cheese and topped with a light sprinkling of breadcrumbs! While we only had 4 dishes between us, we ended up feeling full, as what we ate was rich and satisfying. At the table next to us I saw a plate of grilled pork ribs go by and later a slice of raspberry cheesecake, so I am convinced that everything they serve here must be really good!puce_paris-chips and guacamolepuce_paris_foodpuce_paris-macaroniNow that I have praised the food, I will mention a few drawbacks. Firstly, they played constant instrumental jazz music…which is not at all something I enjoy, but luckily it was only in the bathroom where I really heard it loudly. I guess it did go with the overall upscale feel of the place and there are many people that actually like this type of music…so I won’t judge. Close by, there was a table of bourgeois women enjoying their evening of discussing their partners and their new handbags, which got me thinking that Puce is mainly a really great place for a girl’s night out. Or a date night. I mean the decor is girly and the portions are small so it should appeal to people wanting to chat and drink while snacking on a light meal. I don’t, however, see a group of hungry guys (or hungry girls) ever choosing this restaurant…unless they’re loaded, in which case I’d be tempted to order the entire menu! Those slight criticisms aside, I have to admit that Puce is delightful, chic and a good choice for those of you who prefer quality over quantity. puce_paris_exterior

Restaurant Details:

1 Rue Chaptal
75009 Paris

3.5 pretty, floral plates out of 5

 


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Fast food, Fast Review: Miznon

I’ve wanted to write a review of Miznon for a while now but it wasn’t until this weekend, with Paris being all cold and rainy, that I started craving one of their pitas and felt the urge to look through my photos, drool a bit and eventually type out this blog post.Miznon_Paris_boeuf bougignon pitaMiznon is located in the Marais, right off Rue des Rosiers, where you will find the very popular falafel shops. Miznon can be considered as a fusion between street food and fine dining as the dishes they stuff into their pitas are beyond delicious, and I am more than happy to pay a little more for a taste like no other in Paris. This is actually the second location of Miznon (the first being in Tel-Aviv), which was brought over to France by the amazing chef Eyal Shani.Miznon_Paris_interiorThe restaurant itself is unassuming and rustic with metal and wooden tables and unfinished stone walls. The decor is equally simple, consisting of fresh veggies that are used as necessary, with piles of zucchinis along one counter and cauliflower, tomatoes and artichokes placed on the windowsills. The chefs are behind the counter and prepare everything in front of your eyes, making it a real interactive experience. They are very friendly and bustle about quickly as they fill pitas with a beautiful medley of meat, veggies, sauces, herbs and spices.Miznon_Paris_veggiesMiznon_Paris_interior 2The menu is scribbled in colorful chalk, in a rather chaotic manner, on the blackboard behind the counter and features some French classics with a Mediterranean touch. I was with two friends from out of town and we chose the lamb kebab and the boeuf bourgignon pitas (11, 50 Euros each). The lamb kebab balls were complemented by onions, parsley and veggies; a light and fragrant delight. The flavorful boeuf bourgignon, complete with chunks of tender beef and carrots was loaded into the soft but sturdy pita and was rich and meaty.Miznon_Paris_pitasMy favorite, however, is the stuffed cabbage pita (of course I always have to like the most expensive menu item at 12 Euros): cabbage leaves filled with ground lamb and spices, cooked with vine-ripened tomatoes and then piled into their pita with other herbs and a creamy white sauce (I’m guessing a homemade mayonnaise). SO incredibly delicious! They have a variety of other pitas available ranging from 6-12 Euros each, which include several vegetarian choices (like ratatouille). Don’t forget to also try one of their roasted cauliflower heads (6,50 Euros), that are grilled with olive oil and coarse grain salt. Ours came out looking a little burnt but still tasted really good. Everything here is simple, fresh and natural and just tastes out of this world!Miznon_Paris_stuffed cabbage pitaMiznon_Paris_CauliflowerSo if you want to try some mouthwatering pitas in a crowded and extremely lively eatery then I highly recommend checking out Miznon. Keep in mind that they are open Sunday and Monday (but closed Saturday and Friday night) and that there is extra seating at the back of the restaurant if it becomes too crowded in the front (where all of the action takes place). Alternatively, you can take a pita to go and sit in one of the nearby parks or squares, like Place des Vosges. Just be warned: these pitas are addictive!  miznon_paris_exterior

Restaurant Details:

22 Rue des Ecouffes

75004 Paris

+33 (0)1 42 74 83 58

Rating:

5 gourmet pitas out of 5


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Travel Fun: A Weekend by the Sea in Trouville

The one thing I often say that is missing from Paris is a REAL beach (sorry Paris Plage, but you just don’t cut it for me), so before August ended the bf and I decided to have a weekend away at the seaside town of Trouville-sur-Mer, more commonly known as Trouville.Rooftops and beach_TrouvilleFrom Saint-Lazare Station in Paris, it is only a 2 hour train ride until you arrive at the Trouville-Deauville station, making it a great choice for a day trip to the beach. We decided to make it a 2-day getaway, and it was exactly what I needed. From the train station you either go left, to the fancier town of Deauville, or turn to the right and cross a little bridge to the quaint fishing town of Trouville-sur-Mer.Trouville_boardwalkYou immediately smell the salty sea air and can hear the seagulls welcoming you from above. The architecture in this town is stunning, as all the buildings are full of character and charm (some with the characteristic half-timber design seen in other towns in Normandy). If you walk up into the hills of Trouville, you can see even more gorgeous houses and some pretty amazing scenic views.Town buildings_TrouvilleTrouville_housesThe streets of the town are narrow, with many being pedestrian-only, allowing cafĂ©s and little boutiques to really attract the flow of visitors that stroll by. There is the huge Casino Barrière Trouville located on the waterfront (I am not really into gambling although to hide from the rain on Sunday I spent 5 Euros on the slot machines and made myself 35 Euros, yay!) and lots of outdoor activities for children along the beach. As this is a fishing town, you don’t have to look far before you cross one of the many fishmongers displaying their really fresh seafood. The beaches are long and sandy but in August they are crowded…so be prepared to fight for a spot, unless it’s one of those days where it rains on and off all day (like it did on the Sunday). seafood_trouvilleTrouville_BeachOf course there is also Deauville, the more popular and well known destination (where the American Film Festival of Deauville takes place every September), but I find it a little too flashy and overpriced (especially the accomodation), even if it is very pretty in its own right. If you’re not wanting to walk or rent a bike between the two towns then the little BAC ferry boats can take you from Trouville to Deauville by crossing the Touques river (only 1, 50 Euros per trip).Deauville_BoardwalkCasino_trouvilleSo with that introduction, let’s get to the serious stuff: Where to eat? We were really lucky during this trip and managed to find three excellent cafĂ©s/restaurants in a town that is pretty touristy. I’d like to think that it was my foodie intuition that lead me to them. So here they are:

Villa Gypsy

We stumbled upon this place accidentally as we were wandering around looking for a place to eat a light snack. I was immediately drawn to its trendy exterior which was different from the other more traditional facades and as I peeked into the pleasant shop I caught a glimpse of a backyard patio. Inside we discovered a coffee shop combined with a lifestyle boutique selling neutral and pastel colored home décor items and gift ideas. Behind the counter was a mother and daughter that were very friendly and that served a variety of tasty and healthy treats. I had a zucchini, tomato and goat cheese savory tart (which was delicious) with a side salad for under 10 Euros! They equally had a great selection of teas (Lov Organic and Kusmi) and drool-worthy homemade desserts (2,20-4,50 Euros). We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch in their tranquil oasis and spent way too much time relaxing in their comfy garden chairs. Where: 65 Rue des Bains, 14360 Trouville-sur-MerVilla gypsy_trouvilleLe Pavillon Augustine

This place was right on the riverbank in front of the casino, making us think that it must have good seafood, and thankfully we were right! The mood is a little more upscale and at night it transforms into a piano bar with a guy singing classic songs in French and English (with a slight accent…I can’t help but hear it) to entertain the many couples sharing plates of fresh oysters. Apparently they even have live bands performing some nights, and people can hit the dancefloor after dinner, if that’s your thing. We sat outside on the patio where there were families and other large groups and it felt more chill. They have 3 course meals for as low as 29,90 Euros at dinner and 15,90 Euros at lunch. The service was excellent and the oysters and fish were perfect. The waiter even offered us a shot of pear liquor on the house…and this was after the Calvados (the local liquor that you will find in every gift shop around town) in the desssert and the wine with dinner. As you can guess, I left buzzed but very happy! Where: 1, Quai Albert 1er, 14360 Trouville-sur-MerLe Pavillon Augustine_TrouvilleTivoli Bistro

Hidden down a quiet street in the centre of Trouville you will find Tivoli Bistro. If you’re wanting some authentic home cooking then this is the place to go! Run by Christiane and GĂ©rard, it feels a little like you are eating at your French Auntie and Uncle’s as you can see GĂ©rard cooking in the kitchen at the back of the small cozy room. Christiane is very friendly and takes her time talking to all of her guests (it is for this reason that reservations are recommended as she does not squish in tons of people, and there are only about 8 tables) and describing the local specialties that they serve. We went for lunch where they have a 3 course menu for 29 Euros, which is excellent value, considering the quality of the food here. I started with a toasted goat cheese salad, followed by a sole meunière that she kindly deboned for me, and for dessert an apple sorbet doused in Calvados. She even offered us a plate of cheeses from the Normandy region (Camembert, Pont-l’ÉvĂŞque and Livarot) to try. I was a little worried at first as they are all what one would call “stinky” cheeses, but they actually tasted pretty nice. Overall it was a great cultural food experience. Where: 27 Rue Charles Mozin, 14360 Trouville-sur-MerTivoli Bistro-TrouvilleOne last thing: keep in mind that as this town is a popular weekend retreat for Parisians, most of the restaurants stay open on the weekend but can therefore be closed on Tuesday and/or Wednesday! Call ahead and make reservations if you don’t want to be disappointed!

Now to completely change topic! I do have to mention that it was exactly one year ago today that I uploaded my first blog post and started From Your Parisian. I can’t believe that a year has gone by already, and although I haven’t been as active as I would like to be, I hope to grow and improve as I learn from my mistakes and try new things (e.g. I’ve enlarged the photos in this post, thoughts?). I can’t wait for another year of blogging and sharing with everyone my favortite places to visit in this wonderful city that I now call home! Thanks for your support! Bisous!

To be Parisian is not to have been born in Paris, but to be reborn. -Sacha Guitry

 


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Paris wine bars: Comestibles et Marchand de Vins

One of my favorite things to eat in Paris is a good cheese and/or charcuterie plate…along with a glass (or two…or more) of wine! Although you would think that every wine bar or restaurant in Paris would serve only mouthwatering cheeses and mind-blowing wine, this is far from a reality. So, as I want everyone to enjoy this experience as much as I do, here is a review of Comestibles et Marchand de Vins! It’s my go-to address for the best selection of high quality but simple French (for the most part) food products and amazing wine, located near métro Jules Joffrin.Comestibles_Paris_Cheese plateThe bright blue facade is easy to spot as you walk up rue Mont-Cénis (which is the street to take if you want to reach Place de Tertre) as it takes up a prime corner in this lively neighborhood of the 18th arrondissement. In the warmer months people are seated in a long row of blue chairs (complete with blankets for those chilly evenings) or around one of the two large wine barrel tables. The first thing you will notice is their huge wine menu (we’re talking pages and pages of expertly selected red, white, rosé and champagne to choose from) along with a page of tempting snacks to accompany that perfect bottle.Comestibles_Paris_exteriorComestibles_Paris_Wine MenuComestibles_Paris_Food MenuI have been here many times so I’ll describe my latest visit with the bf. We shared a small cheese plate (a selection of 4 cheeses, including Camembert from Normandy and Saint-Nectaire; 8 Euros) a small charcuterie plate (with a variety of dried sausages and paté, including one from the Ardèche region of France; 8 Euros) and a bottle of red wine (Maison Nicolas Perrin, Saint-Joseph 2013). I love how the plates are always garnished with flavorful additions such as a light salad, apricots, figs, olives, tapenades, pickles, jams or other exquisite condiments from their shelves…and they all come with a basket full of fresh bread.Comestibles_Paris_Cheese and charcuterieComestibles_Paris_MiravalYou can honestly taste the care that goes into the selection of every one of their menu items…they pick only the best. Their list of wine and food changes all the time but I am never disappointed. I have previously tried the most delicious truffle Pecorino cheese and paper-thin prosciutto that literally melted in my mouth. I have equally tried Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Miraval Rosé here (yes they make wine now too), for 26 Euros/bottle. They also concoct the most beautiful and luscious tartines that you have just got to try. Glasses of wine start at 4 Euros and a plate of something yummy starts at 8 Euros, so they cater to every budget. Comestibles_Paris_truffle pecorinoComestibles_Paris_prosciuttoIf there is no room to sit outside or inside, which after 8 pm is very likely, you can still browse their stock of numerous treats, where you are sure to find yourself a good Bordeaux, a jar of Edmond Fallot mustard (such as Cassis flavored Dijon mustard), or a can of Belle-iloise sardines to take home. The staff here know exactly what they sell and are happy to give you their recommendations based on your request.Comestibles_Paris_Interior Comestibles et Marchand de Vins is the perfect spot to enjoy an evening out in Paris like a true Parisian (i.e. drinking wine) and try some delightful regional products that will blow your taste buds away!Comestibles_Paris_exterior2 Restaurant Details :

65, rue du Mont Cenis

Paris, 75018

+33 (0)1 73 70 56 28

Rating : 5 plates of truffle pecorino out of 5


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Restaurant Review: L’Afghani

One thing that’s great about Paris (and other cosmopolitan cities) is that you can find a restaurant for pretty much any type of cuisine you may desire. It’s kind of like going on a tour around the world without having to pay for a plane ticket and allows you to try all sorts of new and exotic dishes. Even if Afghanistan might not currently be on your travel list, that does not have to stop you from trying their amazing cooking. L’Afghani  is a restaurant hidden between SacrĂ©-Coeur and Chateau-Rouge that is easily overlooked, but that I was lucky enough to discover thanks to my friend V who suggested we try it out.We went with a group of friends and were definitely pleasantly surprised by our experience. Personally I had no idea what to expect, but as soon as we walked in I knew that it was going to be authentic. The owner and server were calm but very friendly and we were shown to a comfy corner booth scattered with cushions. All around us was exploding with Afghan culture: from the lamp shades and tapestries to the traditional instruments and various clothing displayed on the walls, we felt immediately immersed in another world. A beautiful women’s dress caught my eye and for a moment I stopped to admire the vibrant colors and intricate embroidery that made it so gorgeous.  I could almost imagine a beautiful Afghan woman dancing in that very dress and watching the skirt swish as she twirled to the music playing softly throughout the restaurant.Back at my table we were all hungry and so decided to order some entrĂ©es (ranging from 4-6 Euros) to start followed by a main dish each. First came the soft and warm naan bread, then the entrĂ©es that were (I’m being totally serious) out of this world! My faves were the Borani (fried eggplant in a rich tomato sauce, drizzled with garlic flavored yogurt) and the Gol-Ă©-karam (lightly fried cauliflower balls with a vinegary tang to them…OMG! Soooo good!). One of my friends tried a yogurt, mint and cucumber drink, which was light and refreshing while I stuck with the cardamom black tea (2.50 Euros). They also have a killer mint tea, FYI!afghani_paris_appetizersAfter devouring those entrĂ©es, we were super excited for the next course to arrive. I ordered the Ashak (13 Euros), which reminded me of perogies that were filled with leeks and coriander and covered in a rich ground beef, bean, tomato and lentil sauce and then a light pouring of garlic yogurt. I had never tasted anything like it and was completely happy with my choice. I did however dip my fork into some of the other plates around me, such as the Ghazni Karahi (14 Euros; Afghan style onion and herb meatballs with a pile of rice in the middle, topped with a fried egg), which were very tasty too. What was so nice about these dishes was the mix of spices and flavors that I had never experienced before, but that blended perfectly.afghani_paris_main course menuAfterwards some of my friends were up for dessert so they ordered a Halwa zardak (carrot cake squares flavored with rose water, cardamom and coconut milk) and Halwa (kind of like a bowl of soft granola made from flour, almonds, raisins and honey). Both were very sweet and very fragrantly spiced. I was more a fan of the savory courses to be honest, but this in no way means that they weren’t good.So if you’re in Paris and getting tired of French food then I definitely recommend giving L’Afghani a try. It is reasonably priced, has lots of vegetarian dishes (like the Ashak without the ground beef) and is sure to take your taste buds on a ride to a far away land! Just make sure to reserve a table in advance, because once you’ve been here you can’t wait to go back!

Restaurant Details:

16 Rue Paul Albert, 75018 Paris

+33 (0)1 42 51 08 72

Rating: 

5 hot mint teas out of 5!